MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Tens of thousands of dollars in donations will be poured into a run-down hockey rink in memory of a young, Luzerne County man who died tragically on Tuesday.
A group of people in Mountain Top cranked up the tunes and got to work on an ice rink they gre up playing on.
“This is the biggest landmark to me in Mountain Top. For the years it was open, this is where we spent the most of our time throughout the winter,” said Jared McCune, Donation organizer.
They’ve been thinking about refurbishing it for years, but the death of one of their own landed them right here, pouring their hearts and souls into a rink where they had some of their fondest memories with Tanner Kahlau, the 22-year-old Luzerne County Man killed days earlier in a skiing accident.
“I just know how good of a kid Tanner was. You can ask anyone in Mountain Top, he would light up a room. He was just a different kind of kid,” said Pap Ura, Tanner’s friend.
Jared McCune started a GoFundMe to raise money to restore the ice rink. He had no idea at the time, it would raise more than $41,000.
“I never expected to raise as much as we already have. I know a lot of people really appreciate it. Tanner and Brian both would,” said McCune.
Kahlau and Brian Madry, another one of his friends who died in a car crash back in 2011.
“The rink will be named after those two so it will be named the Madry Kahlau Memorial Ice Rink. We talked to the township and they have no problem supporting it,” said McCune.
He says they are in the works of starting a non-profit organization to use the money not only to restore the rink, but also maintain it for years to come.
This isn’t the only effort gaining traction. Several people have set hockey sticks outside their front door to honor Kahlau’s life.
“I know a lot of people are starting to do that for Tanner. I know my parents did, they have them on my front porch now. That’s just one thing to show the support Tanner had behind him,” said McCune.
Celebrating the life of a man cut short just days before his 23rd birthday.